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- Category: Poker News
Poker is more a game of skill than of chance. You don't win by simply guessing what cards your opponents are holding or what cards are left in the deck.
Reading your opponents' hand is one of the skills that separate the great players from the good. It's an ability that every poker player must develop in order to succeed in cash games and tournaments.
Here are a few poker tips on how to read your opponents.
Different players have different tells, while most of the great ones have none at all. Tells are patterns of behavior that can reveal information about a player’s cards.
When the flop comes, it is natural to want to look at it. Avoid this temptation and instead look at the other players’ reactions to the flop first. If the flop comes and a player quickly ignores it, this is usually a sign that he has a strong hand. Players who stare at the flop or glance at their cards after seeing the flop often have weak hands.
If a player glances at his chips after the flop, turn, or river, it generally means he has a good hand and is thinking of betting. When a player stares at you, this is a dare and it means they are probably acting.
If the flop shows two or more cards of the same suit and a player glances at his cards, he could be checking to see if he has the cards to make a flush.
If a player puts his chips into the pot messily and then tries to fix them, this is usually a bluff.
Many new players will use extra emphasis on a betting action. It might be something as big as splashing chips on the pot, or a simple flick of the fingers, but this often means they are bluffing or are not comfortable with their hand.
Reading betting patterns
It’s relatively easy to read the opposition in live poker. Study their facial expressions, their body language, and even the way they breathe. In online poker it can be very difficult to spot tells because your opponents are anonymous.
The best way to read your opponents in online poker is by observing their betting patterns.
If somebody check-raises you, he most probably has a good hand.
If somebody raises and then checks, it means he wanted to bluff but couldn't pull it off.
It is very easy to tell if a player is loose or tight just by the number of hands they play. Even if they don’t stay in until the end you should note the number of times that a player will enter the pot and how much they bet.
Know the types of hands that a player will raise with or call a raise with. Any time a player raises you should note their position and the hand they raised with.
Observe the cards that your opponents show. Do they like to play any suited cards, single aces, suited connectors, or only high cards?
Reading your opponents involves paying attention during the game even when you are not actively involved in a hand.
These poker tips on how to read your opponents will not always hold true. But if you pay close attention to other players’ behavior and betting patterns, you can turn the tide of the game in your favor.
- Category: Poker News
The simplicity of holdem and its huge exposure on TV and the Internet has attracted many novice players. Learning the general rules and basic strategies can go a long way in ensuring that you can hold your own in any table. Here are a few Texas Hold'em poker tips for beginners.
There are two important things to remember in Texas Hold'em.
1. The two cards you hold are the only cards that set you apart from the other players and give you the chance to win.
2. All of the face-up cards are community cards, shared by you and everyone on the table. It is crucial to focus not only on what those cards mean to you but also what they could mean to your opponents.
Once the dealer gives you your two cards, be careful not to reveal anything with your reaction – facial, verbal, and any other body movements can easily be read by other players. Even something as simple as taking a deep breath can tell a smart opponent what kind of hand you are holding.
When evaluating your cards, only play good starting hands. A strong hand would be a pair of Aces of any suite, a pair of Kings of any suite, a pair of Queens of any suit, Ace and King of any suite, a pair of Jacks of any suite, Ace and Queen of any suite and a pair of 10 of any suite. Worthy hands to call with are Ace and Jack of any suite, King and Queen of any suite, a pair of 9 of any suite, a pair of 8 of any suite, a pair of 7 of any suit, Ace and 7 of the same suite.
Non-pair cards that are both less than 10 must be folded pre-flop. A passive player might fold if just one of the cards is less than 10. A more aggressive player might play with an 8 and 9 of the same suit because those cards give you decent possibilities for a straight or a flush.
You must be willing to suffer through a series of poor hands without getting impatient. The good hands will come, eventually, and you'll be in better position to take advantage of them if you don't waste your chips trying to get something out of nothing.
After seeing the flop, don't be afraid to cut your losses. You don't need to play every hand.
On a table with seven players, two pair or better will generally be the winning hand. If you don't have the high pair after the flop (e.g. if the flop is K-9-5, the high pair would be two Ks), and you're not in good position for a straight or a flush, you should probably get out of the hand.
As the number of players goes down, so does the potential of a strong hand -- so if you're at a table with just two other players, it could pay off to be more aggressive.
If you are the first to bet after the flop, don't be afraid to check. If your hand is on the weak side, you might be able to see one more card without having to put more money into the pot. If your hand is strong, you could convince an opponent or two that it's weaker than it really is.
Learn to quickly read the flop and make reasonable decisions, especially if you are playing online. Texas Holdem on the Internet is much faster than in a live casino. You are usually given around 10 seconds to decide whether to fold, call or bet. During these 10 seconds you must be able to evaluate whether there are any cards to form a strong hand in combination with your pocket cards and what your odds are of hitting a good hand in the next betting rounds.
The turn and the river give you two more chances to increase your winnings or get out of the pot before you lose even more money. At this point, it's likely there will only be one or two other players still in the pot with you. Be cautious. After the turn, don't stay in the pot hoping for a straight or flush, unless you can do so on a check. Although there will be times when you would eventually make the straight or flush, it is more likely that you won't.
One of the most important aspects of Texas Holdem is reading player behavior. Know when your opponents are bluffing and when they really have a solid hand. If a person is usually chatty during the game and then he suddenly becomes silent, this might suggest that he’s finally got a strong hand.
You must learn not to be predictable. Do not change you behavior whenever you hit a strong or weak hand. Vary your strategy to confuse your opponents. Your emotions could help your opponents to win, just as evaluation of your opponents can help you to easily defeat them even with a weak hand.
If you are playing in only one room, you'll probably get to play against the same opponents in different tables. Take notes about your individual opponents so you'll know how to play against them next time.
Most online poker rooms provide players with detailed statistics of each game and each hand you play. Take time to analyze your games and spot mistakes before getting involved in tight and aggressive action.
Texas Holdem is a very serious game, one that requires discipline, concentration, and self-control. Do not play when you are tired, sleepy, or preoccupied with other side activities. Create a comfortable playing environment by de-cluttering your desk and sitting in a cozy chair.
As with any other betting game, it is essential to play within the limits of your bankroll. Never deposit money that you cannot afford to lose. Split your monthly bankroll in equal amounts according to your playing schedule and strictly keep to this plan. Hot poker action can get you excited but you must not let your emotions get the better of you. Know when to continue playing and when to stop.
If you're a beginner, start with play money games or low limit real money games. Try to find loose and juicy tables, where other players are either weaker than you, or match your skill level. Make sure you have a sufficient bankroll to play at least 150 hands before you take your seat at the table.
Do not hesitate to move back if you fail to earn at a tighter table. It is better to spend another month improving your skills than lose your entire bankroll due to imprudence.
These Texas Hold'em poker tips are not the only way to success. As you become familiar with the game, develop your own set of strategies to match your style of play. Read books and watch how the poker legends play to improve your own poker skills.